83-Foot Wave Recorded By Satellite Monitoring Hurricane Florence

Science

Hurricane Florence is weakening slightly as it continues toward the Carolina coastal areas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, adding that life-threatening storm surge and rainfall were still expected. The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.

The storm will slow down because of pushback from a trough - an extended area of low atmospheric pressure - now over Texas, Stacy Stewart, an NHC senior hurricane specialist, said in the update. "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in".

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said. "We're kind of at the mercy of the storm". By Tuesday the storm is expected to move into West Virginia as it dissipates.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

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Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.

Storm surge occurs when the hurricane-force winds blow over the ocean water.

The Wilmington area is also at the center of predictions for extreme levels of rainfall; while inland area can expect 7 to 20 inches, Wilmington can expect 2 to 3 feet of rain, according to the NWS - that's likely to eclipse the monthly record in the span of just several days.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening (35), who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington. "It's going to happen".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.

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